HL Deb 01 April 1996 vol 571 c12WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the growth in population of Britain's prisons can be reconciled with the proposed reduction in the number of serving prison officers; and whether they will list the prison facilities such as gymnasia, libraries, education blocks and workshops which are now unused or only partially used as the result of a lack of supervisors.

Baroness Blatch

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the temporary Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Hylton from the temporary Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Richard Tilt, dated 1st April 1996.

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the growth of the prison population and the proposed reduction in the number of serving officers.

The Government have made additional funding available to the Prison Service for security improvements, combating drug abuse and to cater for expected increases in the prison population. But it is also the Government's policy to exercise firm control over public expenditure and to secure greater efficiency in the running of public services. The savings in current expenditure being required of the Prison Service, which will include greater efficiency and economy in the use of its staff, are broadly consistent with those expected of the public services generally.

Information on the detail of changes that may from time to time be made in the use of facilities at individual establishments is not held centrally. The Prison Service is committed to providing positive and constructive regimes for prisoners, and governors are encouraged to make the most cost effective use of all the resources available to them.